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Lang admits he's off the pace

By David Beniuk 20/03/2010 02:11:47 PM Comments (0)

South Sydney's veteran coach John Lang admits he's still getting his "act together" after three years away from NRL coaching.

Lang's disappointing Rabbitohs went none-from-two with a 19-18 golden point loss to Gold Coast on Friday night, again failing to live up to the hype generated by their ambitious off-season spending spree.

The premiership-winning coach who left Penrith in 2006, three years after taking them to the title, was handed the Souths job when Jason Taylor's contract was terminated late last year.

Before that the 59-year-old had been employed as the Rabbitohs' football department manager.

He says big name recruits Sam Burgess and Dave Taylor are still finding their feet at the famous club, but they are not the only ones.

"I'm still getting my act together as well," he said.

"I've been out of coaching for three years and when you go to a new side, particularly the way I coach anyway, I try and mould our game around the players rather than fit them into the way that I want to coach.

"It's a combination of both ... until you're actually getting to work with players, you can watch them but you get a better feel for what's going to be most effective with them.

"I'm still finding my feet to be perfectly honest and I think the boys are finding their feet."

Lang said the heartbreaking loss to the Titans, a side who have been guided by coach John Cartwright since their inception three seasons ago, had still been a big step forward after the humiliating round one 36-10 defeat at the hands of the Sydney Roosters.

"We started to show a few combinations starting to come through," he said.

"That Gold Coast side has been together now, this is their fourth season with the heart of the side there, the same coaching staff.

"They've got their combinations really well embedded and in the end we lost by golden point."

One area Lang will be working on is his side's relationship with referees after a blitz on ruck infringements resulted in a whopping 21 penalties being blown on Friday night, to the frustration of the 10,943-strong ANZ Stadium crowd.

It's little consolation to Lang that Souths won the count 11-10.

"When you make a tackle sometimes you're going to have to have a hand on the ball ... you can't be looking to see if you're below the ball or over it," Lang said.

"I'll probably look for some guidance from (referees boss Robert) Finch and his crew next week to see exactly what they're looking for."

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